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Who Is This, So Weak And Helpless – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 28

Who Is This, So Weak And Helpless is another example of a lyric set that moves from the manger to the cross and beyond, this time by William Walsham How.
Vocals by Sandra McCracken from an Indelible Grace release.

1.
Who is this so weak and helpless,
child of lowly Hebrew maid,
rudely in a stable sheltered,
coldly in a manger laid?
‘Tis the Lord of all creation,
who this wondrous path hath trod;
he is God from everlasting,
and to everlasting God.
2.
Who is this – a Man of Sorrows,
walking sadly life’s hard way;
homeless, weary, sighing, weeping
over sin and Satan’s sway?
‘Tis our God, our glorious Saviour,
who beyond our mortal sight
now for us a place prepareth
free from grief and full of light.
3
Who is this – behold him raining
drops of blood upon the ground?
Who is this – despised, rejected,
mocked, insulted, beaten, bound?
‘Tis our God, who gifts and graces
on his Church now poureth down;
all his faithful ones empowering
to partake in cross and crown.
4
Who is this that hangeth dying,
while the thieves on either side?
Nails his hands and feet are tearing,
and the spear hath pierced his side.
‘Tis the God who ever liveth
‘mid the shining ones on high,
in the glorious golden city,
reigning everlastingly.


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O Sing A Song Of Bethlehem – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 27

I haven’t included O Sing A Song Of Bethlehem before, but there’s more than a few renditions of it around, so it will probably turn up again in the future.
Another set of lyrics that take us from the manger to the cross by Louis F. Benson, most often sung to the tune KINGSFOLD.

The lyrics:
1
O sing a song of Bethlehem,
of shepherds watching there,
and of the news that came to them
from angels in the air.
The light that shone on Bethlehem
fills all the world today.
Of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth
the angels sing alway.
2
O sing a song of Nazareth,
of sunny days of joy;
O sing of fragrant flowers’ breath,
and of the sinless boy.
For now the flowers of Nazareth
in every heart may grow.
Now spreads the fame of his dear name
on all the winds that blow.
3
O sing a song of Galilee,
of lake and woods and hill,
of him who walked upon the sea
and bade its waves be still.
For though, like waves on Galilee,
dark seas of trouble roll,
when faith has heard the Master’s word,
falls peace upon the soul.
4
O sing a song of Calvary,
its glory and dismay,
of him who hung upon the tree,
and took our sins away.
For he who died on Calvary
is risen from the grave,
and Christ, our Lord, by heaven adored,
is mighty now to save.


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The Wingfeather Saga Short Film / Series Trailer

The Wingfeather Saga is the collective title of a four book fantasy series aimed at younger readers written by Andrew Peterson (better known as a singing/songwriter).
Nearly two years ago a Kickstarter campaign aimed at funding a short animated trailer (which would serve to arouse interest in an animated series based on the books) raised an astounding $260,000 of a proposed $110,000 goal.
This enabled a trailer to grow into a fifteen minute short film, featuring more characters than had initially been hoped for.
So, not the short film is available for viewing.
Here it is.
“For twelve-year-old Janner Igiby, life in Glipwood is anything but adventurous. His only escape is the stories he reads at Books and Crannies. Janner’s dream of adventure becomes a perilous reality when his sister, Leeli, stumbles into a Fang of Dang and his little brother, Kalmar, finds a mysterious map that may lead to the powerful Jewels of Anniera.”

If you like it, do what you can to support it.


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This Is The Christ – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 26

Continuing the themes of incarnation and anticipation, here’s Sandra McCracken singing This Is The Christ.


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Only The Gospel Can Power Pastoral Ministry (via Jared Wilson)

Jared Wilson outlines five ways the Gospel shapes and empowers pastoral ministry.
Here’s one of his four points.

In the trenches of day-to-day ministry work, it can become tragically easy to think of the whole thing as a managerial enterprise. We plan and program, we mentor and coach, we write and preach. The relational work of ministry is taxing. Studying takes its toll.
Nearly every pastor I know has been wearied by ministry. For this reason, we need to remember Christianity is not some ordinary religious methodology. It is supernatural.
We pray because we aren’t in control. We preach the Scriptures because only God’s Word can change hearts. We share the gospel because only the grace of Christ can bring the dead to life. We have to remember who we are in Christ or we will go on ministry autopilot, assuming we’re working under our own power.
Knowing the power of the gospel (Romans 1:16, 1 Thessalonians 1:5) means the weakness of the pastor is no hindrance to the Lord at all. In fact, the very idea of Christianity presupposes human inability and weakness. Paul goes so far as to boast in his weakness, knowing that when he is weak, Christ is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
We’re told that a Korean pastor once visited the United States and was asked what he thought of the American church, to which he replied, “It is amazing what the church in America can do without the Holy Spirit.” May this never be said of us!
If we pursue pastoral ministry in our own strength, trusting in our own selves, we will be in big trouble. Our churches will be devastated, and so will we.
No, let us remember all that we are is because of Christ, and apart from him, we can do nothing. This reality will empower our leadership and our preaching and achieve real spiritual impact.

Read the others at the Gospel Coalition.


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Something I Never Noticed

The 1966 Batman movie is on TV tonight. (The one from the TV show).
One famous scene features Batman fighting off a shark on a rope ladder hanging from a helicopter (!!) using Shark Repellent Bat Spray conveniently stored on the Bat-copter.

What I didn’t remember was that Shark Repellent Bat Spray was only one of the available Marine Repellent Bat Sprays on board in case of emergency.
Barracuda, Whale, and Manta-Ray were the other Oceanic Repellent Bat Sprays.

You never know, that may help you out in a trivia contest some day.


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Joy To The World – Christmas Songs 2017 Day 25

Usually I don’t appreciate additions to existing hymns, but David Phelps adds something more than appropriate in the middle of this wonderful rendition of Joy To The World.
Merry Christmas.